Growing up under the ever expanding blanket of blue skies and warmth that make California a dream destination around the world, I never had to think much about what real weather does to a wardrobe. My winter attire growing up was more or less a thin long sleeve t shirt and a hoodie slung across my waist, my toes bare with flip flops hanging on by a thin strap. I didn’t mind if my feet got wet from a winter drizzle, knowing that at some point in the day it would warm up again and I would be fine. Now that I live in Copenhagen, I have to be just a tad more cautious with my toes in the winter as there is the minor chance of, you know, frostbite. The wardrobe readjustments since moving from California to Copenhagen have been plenty, but I’ve tried to narrow it down to the top three which highlight the most drastic changes I’ve noticed in my personal style thus far.
“I’ve adopted a much more comfortable standard for shoes, and can live pretty much an entire year in a good pair of Chelsea boots or nice pair of sneakers. “
Since we’ve already gone there, let’s start with the foot situation. Two big differences between Copenhagen and California have had a devastating impact on my shoe collection and those things are: weather and walking. In California I drove everywhere because there really isn’t much of an option to do otherwise unless you live in San Francisco which, despite what I tell people I meet in Europe when I don’t have time to explain otherwise, I did not. Driving myself from point A to B meant that I could handle a slightly less comfortable shoe. For me, this meant a closet full of heels in all different styles and varying levels of discomfort ranging from “I can do this and my legs look fantastic” to “f**k everything.” Plus, when I got out of the car, the weather would be warm and I knew if I couldn’t feel my toes it was only because I needed to get real and level up a size, not that they were frozen and being slowly chipped off. I don’t drive in Copenhagen – the public transport and biking lanes (lol ok I don’t bike either) have been a blessing and save me so much money and worry when it comes to gas, insurance, and maintenance – but they’ve effectively killed my heel collection as well. I’ve adopted a much more comfortable standard for shoes, and can live pretty much an entire year in a good pair of Chelsea boots or nice pair of sneakers. Socks have also become a good friend, though more out of necessity than a true compatibility and meaningful connection.
Next up, we’ve got the transition from a colourful and varied wardrobe to what is now sea of black, white, and grey with a few statement pieces of color sprinkled in. If I said it was a conscious decision on my part I’d be lying. The effect of Scandinavia has definitely gotten a hold of me and the constant imagery of statuesque blondes in nothing but monochrome has made a lasting impression. I love the sleek look of a monochrome outfit, and it honestly makes my hectic life just a tad easier when I don’t have to worry about matching different elements of colour.
“Finally, and yet another weather related factor, we have the need for functional clothing that is also fashionable.”
Living in a cold climate, when it comes to fashion, is simply more expensive. Living in one of the most expensive countries in the world which also happens to be very cold, is even more expensive. I had it easy living in California, I could afford tons of different cheap low quality tops, shoes, and sweaters, because I never had to worry about the big purchases of a durable coat or pair of boots. Add to that the dilemma of finding a fashionable coat and durable boots, and you’re looking at a costly endeavour no matter which way you swing it. This has forced me to narrow down my selections of outfits and choose quality over quantity – which took me a long time to learn. After the fourth pair of $20 boots literally fell apart in the rain and snow leaving me shoeless and stranded at the office, I finally learned my lesson.
As it stands now, I visit California at least one month out of every year, so I’m currently trying to manage a small set of clothes that work for that climate while maintaining the majority of my wardrobe with Copenhagen in mind, and that can be tough. On the bright side, I love the way that the two places have combined within my personal style to form something new that speaks to my history and feels truly my own.
Danika is a Threads creator, writer, and fashion blogger situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. Although the app is not yet available for outside of the US, she still loads her links using our console! We love you, Danika! x
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